Aosa vs. Aonori: Types of Green Nori Seaweed

Nori is an edible seaweed known as an ingredient used in sushi and is available in various forms, such as Ita Nori (板海苔) and Nama Nori (生海苔).

Ita Nori is one of the most common types of Nori shaped like a square sheet and used in dishes such as onigiri, ramen, and sushi.

It is often made with Asakusa Nori (アサクサノリ) or Susabi Nori (スサビノリ) in the genus Neopyropia of Bangiaceae of red algae.

But green algae can also be the ingredients for Nori, and the representative varieties are Aonori (青のり) and Aosa (アオサ).

Aosa vs. Aonori

Since Aonori and Aosa have a green color and typically come in powder or flakes, they are similar in appearance and look just like the same thing.

But how do the two differ from each other? This article will explain that.

Aonori (青のり)


Aonori is typically made from Suji-Aonori (スジアオノリ) or Ao-Aosa (アオアオサ) in the genus Ulva of Ulvaceae or Hitoegusa (ヒトエグサ) in the genus Monostroma of Monostromataceae of green algae.

It is a powder rather than flakes and smells better than Aosa. Aonori is expensive compared to Aosa, regarded as a high-grade product.

We usually use Aonori as a condiment and sprinkle it on dishes such as Yakisoba, Okonomiyaki, and Takoyaki.

Aosa (アオサ)

Aosa Nori

Aosa, also called Aosa Nori, is the generic name for seaweeds in the genus Ulva of Ulvaceae of green algae.

It is flaky rather than powdery and is inferior in quality (fragrance, taste, and texture) to Aonori. 

As for usage, the Aosa flake often comes on potato chips and can also be the ingredient of Furikake rice seasonings.

Meanwhile, we commonly use raw Aosa in miso soup called Aosa Jiru (あおさ汁).

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia アオサ, アオノリ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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